What Is The Difference Between Cacao and Cocoa?


Narinder Singh
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During shopping for products containing chocolate, we come across the term “Cacao,” while there are some other products that claim to contain “Cocoa.” You must have noticed the difference in the ways these two words are spelled.

So, are we talking about two different products here, or is the same product spelled differently by different people? Now, “Cacao” does sound like chocolate, but is it the same thing as “Cocoa?”

Cacao Vs. Cocoa

Yes, both “Cacao” and “Cocoa” are chocolate, and they come from the same source – the “Theobroma Cacao” tree. The pods that grow on this tree contain Cacao beans. Actually, it is the processing of these beans that marks the difference between Cacao and Cocoa.

If the beans are fermented, dried, and powdered, you get Cacao, and if the beans are roasted and powdered, you get Cocoa. There, the difference is in the roasting of the beans to obtain Cocoa, which is done at a high temperature. It is believed that the nutritional properties of the beans are lost during high-temperature roasting.

On the other hand, due to the low-temperature processing, Cacao is believed to be rich in antioxidants and other nutrients. That is why Cacao is used in the so-called “health foods.” Regular Cocoa, on the other hand, is used in baking and chocolate bars.

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Is Cacao Really Healthier?

This question can be answered as both yes and no. See, when Cacao is obtained after the low-temperature processing, it is obviously healthier than Cocoa. But the important question is, how Cacao reaches the ultimate consumer?

If you are buying Cacao nibs, a chocolate bar, or some other edible product containing Cacao, you must understand that the product has been processed in some way or the other. Did they maintain the “low temperature” during the processing of this final product?

So, it is better not to be misled just due to the use of the word “Cacao” in some product labels. You will need to be sure about the quality of the product and the reputation of the manufacturer.

How To Buy Good Quality Cocoa Powder

When buying Cocoa powder, try to buy 100% natural unsweetened Cocoa. In India, we get such a product which is called “Hershy’s Cocoa.” I have seen many other products labeled as “drinking chocolate” and “Cocoa Powder” that contain a disgusting amount of additives such as dairy, sugar, preservatives, and other scary stuff. You won’t get any health benefits from drinking chocolate if it is not pure.

That being said, finally it’s all chocolate. If you like it, enjoy it!

Watch A Video

You may like to watch a short 1-minute Youtube video (vertical mobile format) on this subject. Please click here to go to the video on the Youtube app or website.

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